Log Book of the USS Essex, August 1, 1878-February 15, 1879 (#5) Transcription
USS Essex was designed by the North American shipbuilder Donald McKay. McKay is widely recognized as the premier shipwright and designer in 19th Century America. His fast clipper ships broke all speed records during the mid-19th Century. and his ship Flying Cloud held the speed record from the New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn from 1851-1989. USS Essex was the last ship McKay designed and constructed. Her keel was laid in 1874 and she was launched in 1876 as one of the last class of wooden-hulled American Naval vessels and one of the last out-fitted with auxiliary sails.
Commander Winfield Scott Schley (9 October 1839 - 2 October 1911) was in charge of USS Essex from her launching until mid-1879. Winfield Scott Schley is well-known for his actions during the Spanish-American War where he commanded the Flying Squadron on his flagship USS Brooklyn, an armored cruiser, at the Battle of Santiago Bay. Schley retired from the US Navy in 1901 with the rank of Rear Admiral.
This fifth log book of USS Essex contains much interesting information about the daily workings of the ship. It mentions interactions with United States Naval Warship USS Hartford (Rear Admiral Farragutâs flagship at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War), the Brazilian iron clad Bahia, German frigate Albert, French Flag Ship Thernis, the English gunboat Elk, English steamers Cuzco, Danube, and Warwick Castle, HBM ship Volage, Royal Mail Steamer Asiatic, HMS Danae, American barque Samuel E. Sprin, American Whaler George and Susan, the American Whaling bark Sea Fox, American mail steamer City of Pasa, American steamer City of Rio de Janeiro, French Bark Louise Marie of St. Malo, and Italian frigate Governollo.
USS Essex worked around the world as a US Navy Sloop of War and then as a training vessel in the Atlantic and the Great Lakes. She ended her long service in Duluth, Minnesota and is now a National Register of Historic Places-recognized shipwreck - and the only known example of Donald McKay's craftsmanship known to survive anywhere in the world.
Sixty-two of Essex's log books are known and Maritime Heritage Minnesota received Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants – part of the Legacy Amendment - to digitize, edit, and transcribe these books. This is a transcription of log book #5. Copyright to Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota. This log book can be downloaded at no cost but cannot be offered for sale by anyone other than Merriman, Olson, and MHM, or changed in any way.
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